Class roles refer to the “job” of a player in a group setting. There are three primary roles: tank, healer, and damage dealer (DPS). These may be further divided into sub-roles, such as main tank and off-tank. Groups may also choose to assign support roles, such as being responsible for crowd control. Balance of class roles is critical to attaining an effective composition in dungeons, raids and battlegrounds.
Choice of role is largely determined by specialization, with each specialization designed to perform a specific role. While it is possible for characters to perform roles other than those intended for their spec, the result is generally ineffective and/or inefficient, and often cannot be sustained for long.
There are three primary roles in almost every MMORPG, and World of Warcraft is no exception:
– Tanks protect their allies by drawing enemies’ attacks toward themselves and absorbing damage.
– Healers keep their allies alive by healing their wounds and protecting them from harm.
– Damage dealers focus on the critical task of dealing damage to the party’s foes.
Thanks to: Gamepedia